Social Media Challenge #1: Start Following!

In your first post, you introduced yourself and suggested a focus for your blog. This week you’ll solidify that focus and identify sources of information that will contribute to your writings. Don’t forget, you’ll need two posts this week (and every week thereafter) too!

Part 1: Refine your focus – Due: Noon, Thursday, Jan. 19

Last week, you created an “About” page with your blog’s mission statement. In class yesterday, we assessed these focuses. Based on my and your classmates’ feedback, refine your “About” page and copy & paste it into an email to me. Remember these points:

  • It’s not about you. Make sure your focus is a larger conversation, not a diary or “expert advice” (you’re not one) or “my crazy life” blog. How can you connect with a larger community?
  • It’s not about everything. Avoid being too broad (e.g., “pop culture”) – if you say you will write about something general like “sports,” you’ll need to spell out what a reader might get out of reading your site compared to the countless other sports sites out there.
  • It’s not just links. Links are necessary, but a successful blog needs to add something to the information it synthesizes from elsewhere. Linking to a bunch of stories about the Pittsburgh Penguins is not blogging.

Part 2: Identify sources to help you – Due: Noon, Monday, Jan. 23

Blogging isn’t something you have to do on your own. With your focused topic in mind, it’s time to identify some sources to help you on that path. You will identify 10 blogs to follow. Each of these blogs should inform your topic in some way – for example, a social media blog might draw on You’ll need to complete the following steps:

  • Post links to each of your 10 blogs in your blogroll
  • Add their RSS feeds in Google Reader
  • Write a blog post explaining (in 1-2 sentences each) how each of these blogs will inform your own blog – don’t forget to include links to each blog in your post!
  • ALSO add,, and the course blog to your Google Reader (these don’t count toward your blogroll, and they’re not required for it)
  • Yes, this counts toward your weekly two posts.

Part 3: Add the Calendar widget to your blog – Due: Noon, Monday, Jan. 23

This is an easy one. In your Dashboard, go to Appearance > Widgets and drag “Calendar” to your sidebar. This must be also done by noon, Monday, Jan. 23.

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